W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > June 2011

Re: {Disarmed} Re: Schema.org in RDF ...

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2011 11:45:51 +0100
Message-ID: <4DEF52DF.8010107@openlinksw.com>
To: public-lod@w3.org
On 6/8/11 11:13 AM, Christopher Gutteridge wrote:
> All in all, if we can write a library which can read a page with 
> schema.org data encoded and spit out RDF, who cares?


> I'm looking the examples, and it looks easy enough to turn into 
> triples, albeit there will often be graphs with nothing but bnodes.
> There's no way normal web developers will assign URIs to things until 
> they see the benefit... Could we suggest a trivial extension to 
> schema.org to let people add URIs for itemtypes.
> <div itemscope itemtype=*MailScanner has detected a possible fraud 
> attempt from "schema.org" claiming to be* 
> "http://schema.org/Organization" about=*MailScanner has detected a 
> possible fraud attempt from "totl.net" claiming to be* 
> "http://totl.net/#org">
> If I had more hack-slack I'd knock up a library which takes a 
> schema.org encoded page and spits out triples.
> Are people going to create some semantic abominations using 
> schema.org? of course, but they were already able to do that in RDFa. 

Yep! Ditto RDF. You can make crap using any markup :-)

> This is going to be used by the same kind of people who were 
> implementing RSS a decade ago. Just accept that the world is going to 
> end up with a big pile of shonky data!

But therein also lies opportunity. In the world of business only one 
thing rules, and its called: opportunity cost. Commercial entities track 
opportunity costs like chancellors and finance ministers track 
inflation. When someone else is eating their lunch they adjust. Google, 
Microsoft, Yahoo! haven't decided to push structured data via graphs via 
HTML out of the goodness of their hearts, they're already incurring 
opportunity costs which they aren't stupid enough to announce to the 
whole world.

> schema.org is so very much more human-readable than RDFa. It wins 
> hands down on that.

Microdata for the audience schema.org is aimed at trumps RDFa, big time! 
But at the end of the day, who cares about syntaxes for graphical data 
representation, we should all be happy about the fact that graphical 
data representations are getting broader acceptance.

Transforming graphical structured data (in any form) to pure functional 
Linked Data is an exponentially simpler job than starting with some 
totally unknown from of structured data or binary blobs.

> We're the linked data community. RDF is a tool to an end, no more.


> Rather than sit around and feel glum about this coming wave of data 
> being a bit wrong, we should be looking at how to help it become 
> Linked (and Open).


> I think we made a big mistake in using http URIs. It's too confusing.

Like RDF, HTTP URIs are an option.

Personally, the problem lies in a narrative that refuses to dissociate 
RDF and the concept of Linked Data Structures embellished with URIs. 
There are too many distracting wars about superficial matters while the 
core concept of leveraging URIs for Object Naming, Object Addressing, 
and Object Representation is totally lost. We oscillate between URI and 
URL which solves zilch since the URI abstraction serves two needs: Name 
and Address, which are put to max use via Linked Data concept.

> If we'd used <thing://totl.net/> with the convention that you can find 
> facts about it by converting "thing:" to "http:" then the world would 
> be much less confused about URIs.

I don't think so.

The world (beyond RDF and Semweb) actually understands de-reference 
(indirection) and address-of operations. They worked with these 
mechanics in other realms esp. pre WWW. The trouble with RDF and Semweb 
narratives is that they are pretty poor when it comes to making 
connections with what already exists and what people may already understand.

There are more programmers (generally) that understand what I refer to 
above than there are folks that actually cling to RDF and its usage for 
graphical data representation as some new phenomena in computing. This 
is why I continue to state: RDF narrative is broken.

> I know this is probably an old topic of conversation, but it's a 
> massive impediment to the public understanding of URIs for things not 
> available via the HTTP protocol.


HTTP is a cost-effective option for Object Names due to WWW ubiquity, 
but that doesn't make it the sole option. For reasons I'll never 
understand, we are now in an era of boolean "OR". Basically, if I am not 
the sole option I am a failure! Come on!  Is the WWW about sole options 
or the ability to expand endlessly via hyperlinks? The loosely coupling 
core of AWWW is what makes the WWW work. The fact that HTML worked for 
Documents doesn't mean the W3C has to prescribe RDF for data. Standards 
aren't prescribed, they become what they are after significant adoption. 
RDF doesn't have any kind of significant adoption relative to the WWW to 
which its being forcefully prescribed.

> I'm amazed that people are so surprised about schema.org. Don't you 
> realise that RDFa, RDF/XML and using http:// URIs for real world 
> things is really really confusing and make the amazingly useful idea 
> of Linked Open Data much harder to get to groups with?


> These days when I teach people about RDF data I start with N-Triples 
> as it's the easiest format to grok.

I've never taught or explained the concept of Linked Data via any 
markup. I start by explaining 3-tuples, de-reference (indirection), 
address-of etc.. I focus on showing their existence in languages, apps, 
and middleware that preceded the WWW.

> Sorry for getting a bit ranty, but this community has no focus on 
> lowering the barriers which make it hard for the mainstream web 
> community to start producing linked data. I find that very very 
> frustrating.

s/no/to :-)


> Harry Halpin wrote:
>> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 2:51 PM, Michael Hausenblas
>> <michael.hausenblas@deri.org>  wrote:
>>> All,
>>> Thanks a lot for the comments we received so far, both here and (even more)
>>> off-list. Now, to make our life a bit easier, may I ask you to provide
>>> suggestions concerning the mapping (or feature requests alike) directly to
>>> the Github [1]? Of course, if you're more into it, feel free to clone the
>>> repo and issue a pull request.
>>> As you can imagine, this is a community endeavour - we just happened to kick
>>> it off ;)
>> Actually, I'm also going to point out that the W3C asked for EU
>> funding about a year ago for something *very* similar  - and at the
>> time had the interest even of Google - for hosting a RDF version of
>> something quite similar to schema.org. But thanks to the wonderful
>> judgement of the reviewers of EU proposals and the Semantic Web
>> academic community, we weren't given funding :)
>> Obviously Google and friends see a good opportunity here to actually
>> make a place to find structured data vocabularies on the Web. While I
>> wish they had better support for RDFa, I can see that the whole
>> RDFa/microdata/microformats lack of convergence is causing a confusing
>> mess for ordinary webmasters.
>>                         cheers,
>>                              harry
>>> Cheers,
>>>         Michael
>>> [1]https://github.com/mhausenblas/schema-org-rdf/issues
>>> --
>>> Dr. Michael Hausenblas, Research Fellow
>>> LiDRC - Linked Data Research Centre
>>> DERI - Digital Enterprise Research Institute
>>> NUIG - National University of Ireland, Galway
>>> Ireland, Europe
>>> Tel. +353 91 495730
>>> http://linkeddata.deri.ie/
>>> http://sw-app.org/about.html
>>> On 3 Jun 2011, at 22:06, Michael Hausenblas wrote:
>>>> http://schema.rdfs.org
>>>> ... is now available - we're sorry for the delay ;)
>>>> Cheers,
>>>>         Michael
>>>> --
>>>> Dr. Michael Hausenblas, Research Fellow
>>>> LiDRC - Linked Data Research Centre
>>>> DERI - Digital Enterprise Research Institute
>>>> NUIG - National University of Ireland, Galway
>>>> Ireland, Europe
>>>> Tel. +353 91 495730
>>>> http://linkeddata.deri.ie/
>>>> http://sw-app.org/about.html
> -- 
> Christopher Gutteridge --http://id.ecs.soton.ac.uk/person/1248
> You should read the ECS Web Team blog:http://blogs.ecs.soton.ac.uk/webteam/



Kingsley Idehen	
President&  CEO
OpenLink Software
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen
Received on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 10:46:30 UTC

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